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Faculty headshot of Alexis Kaushansky, PhD

Alexis Kaushansky PhD

Seattle Children's Research Institute
Associate Professor

Email: Alexis.Kaushansky@seattlechildrens.org | Phone: 206.884.3181

Infectious diseases remain a substantial cause of mortality around the world. This is particularly true in resource-poor areas, where access to treatment is sparse and people fight a multitude of infections simultaneously. In these places, prevention and treatment of infection is even more challenging. In the case of malaria, hundreds of millions are infected every year, and the disease takes the lives of half a million people annually. Yet the malaria parasite and other infectious diseases that burden the world cannot survive independently. To cause sickness and travel through the population, they must scavenge resources from the people they infect. Our work aims to identify what pathogens need from their human hosts and use this knowledge to prevent and eliminate infectious diseases. In practice, the use of stem cells and organs-on-chips is critical, as it allows us to study human infection in a biologically relevant setting.  We work collaboratively with bioengineers within ISCRM to develop organ-on-chip platforms for the study of infectious disease.  This allows us to better understand infectious disease and inform the development of drugs for infections that impact people worldwide.